Construction materials for the new Cartwrights Hill trots track have arrived in Wagga, signalling looming construction.
Construction of the $6.5 million harness racing track with its two-storey clubhouse and 89 stables must begin within three months or local trots won’t have anywhere to race.
Harness Racing NSW’s (HRNSW) current lease at Wagga Showgrounds ends on June 30, 2018.
HRNSW chief John Dumesny said light poles for the new facility had arrived in anticipation of the build.
Plans have been in the works for close to four years, but construction was delayed by September’s torrential rain.
Mr Dumesny is still to ink a contract with a construction company, but said a deal could be sewn up as early as next week.
“We would have liked to have signed this contract in last week of January,” Mr Dumesny said.
“We're making sure design is perfect in the sense ton avoid costyl variations.”
Mr Dumesny moved to stamp out rumour and inuendo the project had fallen over.
“We were in the Riverina a few weeks ago and there’s some people with vivid imaginations suggesting we’d gone broke and that’d we’d bought up a pub that went belly-up,” he said.
“Those malicious and vicious rumours are not true.”
There are no approval impediments to breaking ground, having gained Southern Joint Regional Planning Panel approval in November 2015.
HRNSW’s advertisements for builders were contained to Wagga and Albury, with the intention of hiring locals.
Having purchased the Cartwrights Hill site from council for $1 in 2013, the region’s first multimillion-dollar harness track was mired bynearby residents objecting to the development because of zoning, flooding, pollution and traffic concerns.
Mr Dumesny boasted the Cartwright’s Hill track would be the “best development in NSW”, eclipsing flagship facilities in Bathurst and Penrith.